Monsoon showers may have brought smiles to the farmers, but the much awaited rain has only meant trouble ahead for Junglemahal administration.
According to police, the naxals have surged back to the villages taking advantage of the monsoon rains, holding meetings and threatening leaders of rival political parties.
“Maoists are trying to launch recruitment and training programmes, as movement of security forces inside the forests during monsoon is restricted and there is lesser vigilance. However, we are working on counter strategies,” IG, Western zone, Gangeshwar Singh told Deccan Herald.
Police sources said Maoists have reportedly started frequenting many villages and they are even holding meetings and have started night stays. “Maoists, over the last couple of weeks, have significantly increased their influence in Lalgarh and Belpahari areas, where two platoons led by Bikash- the state committee member of the Maoists and Madan Mahato- a local guerrilla leader have started moving into villages and threatening local politicians,” sources in the police said. After Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress came to power Maoist movement in the Junglemahal area comprising of three districts –Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore– had reduced to a considerable degree.
“With strict vigil by the joint forces, operation on the basis of specific tip offs leading to arrests of prime leaders and mainly after the death of Kishenji in November 2010, the Maoists started surging back and the forest area (popularly known as Junglemahal) in the three districts were free from the red rebels. Even Union Home Ministry admitted that Maoist movement in West Bengal has touched nearly zero,” a senior district police officer said.
“But as the political parties failed to take chance of the political vacuum and a considerable portion of the joint forces have been sent to the neighbouring states because of the high density of the rebels in those areas, the Maoists have again started surging back,” the officer said. “Trinamool has, so far, failed to fill the vacuum created by CPM,” a local Trinamool leader said.
However the leader of Santrash Birodhi Janajagaran Mancha- a people’s forum led by TMC to counter the Maoists- Nisith Mahato said: “Political parties must carry out campaigns, such as rallies and meetings, to push the Maoists back. We, on our part, will be holding an apolitical rally at Vatur in Jamboni police station area on July 12”.